Program Insight Case Study: California Baptist University | Burning Glass Technologies

Faster, Smarter, Better

Cal Baptist Reduces Program Review Time and Increases Revenue with Program Insight™

The Partners

California Baptist University (CBU) is one of the top private Christian colleges in Southern California, with a traditional campus and the Division of Online & Professional Studies (OPS) which offerbachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs fully onlineThe CBU vision is to cultivate an educational experience that integrates academics with both spiritual and social development opportunities.  

CBU, like other colleges, is seeing a decline in liberal arts enrollments, making it important to showcase competitive, successful programs. Jeff Keneaster, the Director of Academic Operations, and Dr. Dirk Davis, Associate Vice President of Academics, have partnered with Burning Glass Technologies to make evidence-based decisions regarding their online program portfolio. Their goal was to take labor market data into account in improving current programs, adding new courses, and sunsetting programs that are no longer in demand.  


The Challenge

In addition to course-by-course and annual assessments, each program performs a thorough program review every five years to evaluate objectives, enrollments, and student retention rates. The purpose of this review is to ensure each program has relevant course material and teaches employer-demanded skills. Finding these metrics has been a manual, time-consuming process, and data about labor market demand has been difficult to find or even unavailable.  

Keneaster and Dr. Davis wanted to find a better solution to help drive down program review and program development time, while giving them more in-depth labor market data.  

“We are looking for what the appropriate, sought-after skill sets are to make sure our programs are providing the learning to acquire these skills, so graduates are more marketable when entering the job market.” Dr. Dirk Davis

Associate Vice President of Academics, CBU

The Solution

CBU started using Program Insight™ from Burning Glass Technologies to drive down program review time, better align their curriculum with the local labor market, and create new, market-aligned programs to help students graduate with solid jobs.  

For example, a review of the communications program showed that the skills being taught in those courses were similar to those being taught in the Public Relations program. When these programs were compared with job postings for Public Relations and the postings for Communications jobs, they noticed an overlap. This provided an opportunity to combine both programs and create a new master’s in strategic communication, which covered all the skills taught in the original programs, better qualifying students for those in-demand jobs.  

By having both Burning Glass job market data and government sources in the same dashboard, CBU could dramatically cut the time needed to review programs. Overall, CBU was able to reduce program development time from 4-12 months to a handful of weeks, while also adding 15 new programs offerings, which are estimated to generate around $4.75 million in revenue over a two-year period. 

Key Takeaways 

Using Burning Glass’s Program Insight tool, California Baptist University significantly reduced program research time. The five-year program reviews have become a much easier process; comparing top employer requested skills and in-demand jobs has become a one-step process and allows reporting on top employer requested skills and growth. 

Program directors can quickly view top employer requested skills and empower their faculty to adjust curriculum accordingly. California Baptist University was able to make their review more efficient and continue to stand out from competing institutions by making evidence-based program development decisions. From adjusting generic and outdated curriculum, California Baptist University was able to ensure their programs generate return on investment for every student that enrolls. 

Taking a data-driven approach to new program development will lead to an estimated $4.75 million in new revenue for CBU over a 2-year period. 

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